Ruckus Media iPad Apps: “John Henry” and “Andrew Answers”

I have taken an uncharacteristic and unexpected break from EDIWTB this past week. Just too much going on this week – my twins' birthday is this weekend, I spoke at a social media conference yesterday, and I've been busy with work too. Posting has fallen by the wayside, as has reading. I am plowing through A Thousand Splendid Suns on audio (wow, what a disturbing book) yet haven't really picked up Bossypants all week. (I really need to stick to fiction.)

But I have some great kids' iPad apps to talk about today. Ruckus Media sent me a few apps that my 7 year-old daughters just adored: John Henry and Andrew Answers.

Johnhenry John Henry is a retelling of the classic folk tale, narrated by Denzel Washington and with music from B.B. King. My daughters were totally captivated by it and have watched it a few times. It turns out that there is a performance of John Henry for kids at a local theater, which we are seeing this weekend, mostly due to their enthusiasm about this app. The illustrations are lovely, and the whole experience feels like a moving picture book (as opposed to a cartoon). There is an option for kids to record their own voices telling the story, which we haven't tried yet, but which sounds like a lot of fun. The music is also great – one of my daughters likes to play the app just to hear the music.

Andrewanswers My daughters also loved Andrew Answers, by Alan Katz, a story about a smart boy whose choices of spelling words keep getting him into trouble. When asked to spell a word starting with "N" for example, he says, "No.", an answer that is technically accurate but makes his teachers angry. This misunderstood speller finds himself in increasingly higher-stakes situations, culminating in a visit to the Oval Office. It's a cute story that's great for starting spellers too.

I was impressed with the quality of these Ruckus Media kids' apps and highly recommend them! They are each $3.99, less than the cost of a quality kids' picture book.